Here are some fascinating facts about some Cubs hitters during the 2016 season:
Kris Bryant has a .682 Slugging Percentage (101 total bases in 148 AB) against inside fastballs this year. (MLB Rank: 8th of 203 full-time players; League Avg: .451)
Bryant has an OPS of .963 (652 PA) at home in the past two years. (MLB Rank: 10th of 196 full-time players; League Avg: .757)
Anthony Rizzo has come to the plate with runners in scoring position in 213 of his 676 plate appearances (31.5%) this season. (MLB Rank: 5th highest of 203 full-time players; League Avg: 24.9%)
Rizzo had a Line Drive Percentage of 34.6% (27/78) in the final 30 days of the regular season. (MLB Rank: 2nd highest of 206 full-time players; League Avg: 21.1%)
Javier Baez has chased 42.4% of pitches (429/1012) this season. (MLB Rank: 7th highest of 203 full-time players; League Avg: 30.2%)
Ben Zobrist has an In-Play percentage of 50.0% (52/104) on the first pitch of at-bats this season. (MLB Rank: 9th highest of 202 full-time players; League Avg: 38.0%)
Cubs hitters have an OBP of .372 (232/623) when leading off an inning since the All-Star break. (MLB Rank: 1st of 30 teams; League Avg: .323)
These are courtesy of Inside Edge; many thanks to them for these notes.
One more note about Cubs vs. Giants: Friday night was the sixth consecutive game between these two teams that was decided by one run. The Cubs have won four of the six, and the two losses were to Madison Bumgarner.
Site note: Cub Tracks, which normally runs at 7 a.m. CT on Sundays, will be held until Sunday afternoon so Duane can get the latest reactions to Game 2.
Here are today's particulars.
Fowler CF, Bryant 3B, Rizzo 1B, Zobrist LF, Russell SS, Heyward RF, Baez 2B, Contreras C, Hendricks P
Span CF, Belt 1B, Posey C, Pence RF, Crawford SS, Pagan LF, Gillaspie 3B, Panik 2B, Samardzija P
Kyle Hendricks' only start against the Giants this year was a tough-luck, 1-0 loss May 22 in San Francisco, the only run driven in on a double by Madison Bumgarner. MadBum isn't going tonight, so Kyle won't have that to worry about, plus in his last six starts at Wrigley (all of his outings there since the All-Star break) he has an 0.84 ERA (four runs in 41⅓ innings), with 40 strikeouts. Undoubtedly, that's why Joe Maddon chose him to start Game 2, his dominance at home. Hoping it continues tonight.
The last time Jeff Samardzija started at Wrigley Field, September 1, he threw 50 (!) pitches in the first inning, highlighted by a 13-pitch walk drawn by Dexter Fowler to lead off. The Cubs scored three times in that inning and won 5-4. Overall Shark had a decent September (2.95 ERA in six starts), but has been somewhat worse on the road this year (4.03 ERA in 18 starts, with 17 home runs allowed in 114 innings) than at home (3.53 ERA in 14 starts, just seven homers given up in San Francisco).
Today's game is on MLB Network. Announcers: Bob Costas, John Smoltz and Ken Rosenthal. If MLBN is available on your cable/satellite system, you should be able to watch this game even if you don't subscribe to the tier it's on. MLBN is giving a free preview through October 11. You can find the MLBN channel on your system here.
Please visit our SB Nation Giants site McCovey Chronicles. If you do go there to interact with Giants fans, please be respectful, abide by their individual site rules and serve as a good representation of Cub fans in general and BCB in particular.
The 2016 Game Thread procedure will be the same as the one used at the end of 2015. Here's how it works.
You'll find the game preview posted separately on the front page, two hours before game time (90 minutes for some early day games following night games).
At the same time, a StoryStream™ containing the preview will also post on the front page. The First Pitch Thread and all the overflow threads will be published in that stream, as well as the recap. The recap will also live on the front page as a separate post, and at the time I write the recap I will rename the stream "Cubs vs. (Team) (Day of Week) Game Threads" so you can go back and find every thread related to that particular game.
You will also be able to find the preview, First Pitch Thread, all the overflow threads and recap in the box marked "Chicago Cubs Game Threads" at the bottom of the front page (you can also find them in this section link). They will also appear in the game's StoryStream™ as noted above.
The First Pitch thread will post at five minutes before game time, then an overflow thread at one hour, two hours and 2:45 after the scheduled game time.
Discuss amongst yourselves.